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How Much Money Do You Need to Be Happy? Europeans Settle for Less

It’s Euronews Business’ turn to take part in the academic debate about how much money you need to be happy. Read on to find out more.

The answer to the age-old question might be different for everybody but recent studies from Europe and the US found that money can indeed buy happiness. 

In the US, 6 in 10 people believe in it, according to a survey by financial services company Empower conducted by the Harris Poll.US millennials (the generation born between 1981 and 1996), which even named the price; they need an annual $525,000 (€480,700) salary to feel that they are financially happy.

Meanwhile, the average American would settle with $284,167 per year to be happy, Gen Z asks for $128,000, Gen X $130,000, and Boomers say $124,000 a year would do.

If financial happiness has a price tag, the average American believes it amounts to having a net worth of $1.2 million (€1,1 million).

Europeans may settle for less; people in Western Europe and Scandinavia named $100,000 (€91,561) a year as a turning point in their life evaluation, and real-life satisfaction; having more than this amount could positively change their thoughts about their lives, found 2018 study from Purdue University. In Eastern Europe, this amount was far less, $45,000 (€41,202).

However, this study also claims that emotional well-being, basically happiness, only increases hand in hand with an income of up to $50,000 in Western and $35,000 in Eastern Europe. 

Having more money than that has no additional impact on how happy people are. But after all, they carried out this study a few inflation-heavy years ago, so Euronews Business has adjusted these figures with inflation and found that the amount today would be about €58,205 for Western and €40,690 for Eastern Europeans.  

What is financial happiness, anyway?

According to the US study, financial happiness brings freedom, security, and relief to those surveyed. 

More in detail, the survey found that financial happiness equaled being able to pay bills on time for 67%, living debt-free for 65%, affording everyday luxuries without worry for 54%, and owning a home for 45% of the people. 

For over half of people, spending on experiences with loved ones also counted while retiring on their own terms was an important factor for 37%. Almost four-fifths of the surveyed Americans agreed that financial happiness could improve their health, bringing more productivity and creativity at work. 73% added that they’d give up social media if it meant financial happiness.

In reality, 73% of Americans say they’re experiencing financial stress, and a  recent study shows that 85% of Europeans are either in precarious financial situation or need to be careful to manage their expenses.

What do the rich say?

Having a lot of money, however, doesn’t bring happiness on its own, but it helps. 81% of Europe’s most affluent, with a personal income of €100,000 are happy, but 75% earning less than that (still wealthy though) also said they were happy. 

However, the richest are significantly happier with their jobs (73%) than those with less than €100,000 a year (65%).

Age matters, the more mature affluent get more satisfaction out of life than their companions under 35, found the study. Wealthy in Western Europe are happier than those in the Eastern part and doing sports also raises the level of happiness, though that is probably true for everybody.

Where is it the most expensive ‘to get happy’?

The figures of the Purdue University study, adjusted with purchasing power ratios show that the desired income to be happy is the highest in Iran (€219,837) across the world and in Norway (€107,969) and Switzerland (€106,154) in Europe. 

Source : Euro News



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